Title: The Short Side of Isosceles
Original Story: Bothered, Bothered (By You), and (Not) Bothered (By You) by escribo
Pairing: Dom/Billy, implied Dom/Elijah, implied Orlando/OMC
Summary: Elijah never did well in Geometry
Post-reveal notes: Profuse thanks to tigertale7 for beta and much handholding.
Disclaimer: The author makes no claims or inferences to reality or truthfulness. Moreover, this story is based upon the work of another author and recognises their creation.
The front door is solid oak and doesn't give beneath Elijah's head as the rumble of Dom's car drifts away. It hurts, as it should, to thump his skull against it, to realize that Billy and Dom will always be on the same page of a different book than everybody else. Dom and Billy, Billy and Dom. He'd played into their hands without knowing the rules of the game as he always did -- poor, trusting, gullible Frodo.
No, Elijah, Dom's silky, sudden confession of liking guys on the side in the parking lot wasn't a come-on. No, Elijah, Dom hadn't been taking you home to play with after dropping silly, singing, drunken Billy off on the way. No, Elijah, Billy's not remotely drunk; don't you know that a Scot can hold his liquor better than the rest of the human race?
The beer in the pantry is warm and the cigarette stale, penance for giving his last one to Orlando between the restaurant and the club. He'd forgotten he needed to buy a fresh pack, that all he had left at home was this old one stuffed in the back of a junk drawer. Fucking Orlando, who was likely enjoying the hell out of himself and his new friend after only smoking a quarter of that gifted smoke. Upstairs, Elijah's bedroom is empty, and even clicking on the CD player doesn't fill it up with what he wants. Who he wants.
It wasn't that she hadn't been attractive, the girl he'd danced with at the club. She had been cat-eyed and curvy. Her tits had rubbed through her skimpy top and his silk shirt in the heat between their bodies on the dance floor. Since she hadn't been remotely cold, and logic followed that she was either into him, or possibly had some intriguing piercings. Yeah, she was hot, and she was into him, and that was great.
Or it would have been if he was into her. And he would have been, on any other occasion. Work was currently hell in the form of fourteen hour days and an anal retentive boss. Honestly, he loved Pete, he really did, but forty takes was pushing it a little far. He hadn't been laid in ages, not since before he'd arrived, and his girlfriend -- who'd insisted that yes, of course they could maintain a relationship from half a world away -- had broken it off in a text message after he'd been gone for just three weeks. This shoot had a marked lack of single women in general, at least none that weren't significantly older. Not that he had a problem with that, but they all treated him like most older women did, with a pat on the cheek and a few choice words. You're cute, but... -- Ugh. His libido usually skittered away in embarrassment before he heard the rest of the excuse.
Anyway, she'd been into him, and on any ordinary night that would have been getting him some, but tonight was off. Tonight had gone the direction of his entire life here, upside down and backwards.
It was all Orlando's fault. Rather than just being the affectionate flirt and womanizer he always was (he'd danced with the same girl, Elijah vaguely recalled), Orli had set his sights on a tall, tan blonde who was into surfing and skydiving and everything else that turned on an adrenaline junkie like Orlando. Thing was, it was a guy.
Not that Elijah had a problem with that either, it was just an unexpected development. Watching them dance and grind and kiss and eventually stumble out the door together wasn't anything he hadn't seen at home. He'd always considered himself up for experimentation, and yeah, in fact, he'd been there and done that to a point, but it just wasn't the sort of thing he readily advertised. That he'd be up for it again, maybe up for pushing it a little father than a bit of groping hadn't entered into his mind again until he'd come here, because... well, there were opportunities.
Orlando clearly had been up for it, but apparently Elijah had missed that boat. So his beer-soaked mind had turned to the next choice. The better choice. The best choice.
Not Billy. As far as anyone knew, Billy was as straight as a post, and more than popular enough with women. It was the accent. Even Astin, with a few beers and a beet red face, had admitted that he was a little bit in love. And as if he'd been down that road before, Billy had let him down easy. Ach, mate, he'd said, looking supremely empathetic and pushing the brogue just that much farther, the fucker, You're truly sweet, but I don't date Irish.
No, it was Dom. Dom, who handed out kisses as often as he handed out candy. Dom, who danced with men and women alike -- had danced with Billy, in fact, but that was hardly surprising, they'd been attached at the hip since they'd met. Dom, who was kohl-eyed and ambiguous and still very much a guy. Dom, who was crass and brazen and filthy and absolutely up for anything.
Dom would be the polar opposite of the girl. He'd be all angles and strength, big hands and sharp smelling sweat, teeth and laughter and no fucking reservations. Yeah, Dom would be a wild sort of adventure.
And then he he'd been right there, telling Elijah he was leaving. Telling Elijah he liked guys. Taking Billy home. Turning left towards the Elijah's house, the wrong house.
His phone vibrates against his thigh as he paces the room. He considers ignoring it. He doesn't want to hear Dom make excuses. He doesn't want to hear him cancel the plans they'd made for tomorrow because he had better ways to spend precious off time, and better people to spend it with. He doesn't want to be a second choice.
The flash of headlights and halting purr of an engine tells him a car has pulled up the drive. Hope quivers in his gut, and he can't help but wonder. Is Dom coming back alone after dropping Billy off? Was it all an elaborate charade, a game in which Elijah is an active player who has a playable hand? He waits for the sound, the soft knock of a late night tryst, the thrill of being singled out. The phone continues to buzz, and the nervous twitter of possibility forces him to answer.
"Lij! Hey, I think I left my jacket, can you remember to grab it for me?" Orlando's voice is a giggle and does nothing hide the wet, soft sound of lips on flesh.
"Lij? Can you hear me? You're still at the club, yeah?"
"Nice. How was she, then?" A low chuckle not belonging to Orlando echoes down the line. "Or have you even got her top off yet?"
The curtains flutter, and two people can be seen in the lowlight above the garage by the parked car. Two familiar people, getting indefinitely more familiar with each other in his driveway. Back in his driveway. They'd left and then returned just to show him exactly where his place was in this little triangle.
He turns away from the window as they begin stumble back into the car. He doesn't want to see Dom's face, bright and eager and happy as the engine roars back to life and the tires screech in their haste. He doesn't want to see Billy's hands, slipping over the front seat from the back, touching as if forbidden and thereby all the more exhilarating. His mind plays the imagery like a looped film, just to taunt him that much more.
"Lij?" calls Orli's voice again.
Hanging up on the question, he turns the phone off. His bed is cold and smells of sheets that need changing, of his own sweat, and only his.
Second best. Third wheel. Short side.
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